Welcome to Day 8 of our series, From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home. Today we’re talking about a subject that is often controversial and very much misunderstood. What does biblical submission really mean?
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From Chaos to Calm: Day Eight
Wives Submit to Your Husbands
Scripture Memory: “Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” 1 Peter 3:1
I want you to really look at your marriage. In your prayer journal write down at least ten things you love about your husband. Then write down a few things in your marriage you know could use some work. Ask God to show you how YOU can change to make your marriage better.
Please note: I’ve changed my viewpoints on this topic to some degree and I think it’s a very important discussion to have and I don’t take this lightly.
Remember, this week is not about how to change your husband so you have a happy marriage. It is about how YOU can change to become the wife your husband needs you to be as well as how you can become the wife God wants you to be.
In Genesis 3:16, after the fall of man, we find God speaking to Adam and Eve, giving them instructions about what was to come when they left their garden home. God addressed Eve and told her that her desire would be for her husband – and that her husband would rule over her. This was part of the curse given after sin.
In the Bible men and women are commanded to submit. We see this in different passages of the Bible:
In Ephesians 5:15-33 we read:
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
A good marriage should look similar to Christ’s relationship with the church.
God never intended for marriage to be a power struggle or for one spouse to have more power than another.
If we look at the verses above again, we see that in Ephesians 5:21 that it says we are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
And then the following verses go on to explain what that “submitting one to another” actually looks like. To quickly sum it up:
- wives submit to your husbands
- husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church
What does submission mean?
It simply means you allow your husband to lead and you show him respect.
Husbands need to respect their wives as well. No one, male or female, should ever be treated with disrespect.
Submission does not mean that you allow your husband to verbally or physically abuse you. Submission does not mean that you do everything your husband says if he is asking you to break God’s law. Submission does not mean your husband does not have an obligation to treat you with love and respect. Submission isn’t about your husband having power over you.
You see, when someone is forced to submit – it’s no longer submission.
You are to respect your husband in your daily living. As a Godly wife, you will not nag him, talk down to him, treat him like one of the children, or even make fun of him.
You shouldn’t correct your husband in public. If he is telling a story and he gets a point wrong, fight the urge to show how much smarter you think you are! Allow him the freedom to talk without correction.
Basically, just love him well and treat him the way you would want to be treated.
Today’s Scripture memory says, “Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” 1 Peter 3:1
When you show your husband respect you are ultimately setting a Christ like example to him. By showing him respect, his own heart will be converted. How powerful that verse above is! You have the power to win your husband to Christ! Simply by showing him respect, honor and love!
In your daily prayers ask God to show you how to be submissive toward your husband. Ask him to show you when you step out of bounds.
If your husband makes bad decisions, poor choices, or is undisciplined in his life, pray for him. Ask God to give your husband wisdom in his daily experience. Ask God to bless him with sound judgment. Ask God to show him when he errs. If a husband makes a bad decision and has to face the consequences, i.e. losing money on a deal, there will be little need for you to say, “I told you so! How could you be so stupid!” He will already know.
How much more loving would it be for you to instead say, “Let’s pray about this together. I am sorry things didn’t go the way you envisioned.” And follow up with daily prayer for him during your morning prayers.
Having said that, it’s important to understand that if your husband chronically makes bad decisions that leave you and your children in a hard place – for instance, if he spends money that should be used for bills on the lottery or gambling, or if he drinks a lot and comes home drunk, or as another example, he has little regard for your wellbeing, you may be in an abusive relationship. If you are in an abusive marriage regardless of the type of abuse, you need to seek help.
Today, I want you to end your devotion with a special prayer for your husband. Write it down in your journal. You might want to pray about:
- his day
- his work
- his health
- his mind
- his integrity
- his self-worth
Finally, pray for your own wisdom – that you might be the wife your husband needs you to be.
- Anger and Emotional Abuse in Marriage
- Q & A: My Husband is Grumpy in the Mornings
- 7 Misconceptions about Submission
- Should Christian Wives Subit to Their Husbands No Matter What?
- 10 Reasons Marriage was Never Meant to Be a Power Struggle
Click to Listen:
From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home is a daily devotion – Monday through Friday for 15 Weeks by Melissa Ringstaff. The Audio Podcast gives you extra ideas to go along with the email series or e-book.
Action Steps to Take Today
- Pray and ask God to show you how you can better serve your husbnad and show him respect.
- If you feel that something isn’t right in your marriage, but you aren’t sure what, let me know in the comments so I can recommend a few resources for you.
- Download my free printable Prayer Bookmarks below, if desired.
- Pray for your husband every day that God will lead him in every area of his life and strengthen your marriage relationship.
Do you struggle with this issue? How do you show respect to your husband?
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